Demand Mass. Action on Glyphosate and other toxins!
With the new legislative session, we have several opportunities to move our Commonwealth away from reliance on systemic and toxic biocides (life-killing chemicals) like glyphosate and toward organic, life-honoring solutions for landcare and agriculture.
Please use this form now to send a message to legislators within seconds, asking them to cosponsor the NOFA/Mass priority pesticide bills by April 1, 2021. Continue reading below for more background.
Though unfortunately the 2019-20 legislative session ended without significant action on pesticides, awareness and support among legislators has grown significantly and new science continues to emerge which validates our movement supporting swift action to protect the health and integrity of our communities, human and non-human alike.
As the latest scientifically-validated proverbial nail in the coffin (hopefully) for glyphosate, a draft biological evaluation released on Nov. 25th, 2020, by the US Environmental Protection Agency (really!) concludes that glyphosate is likely to adversely affect 93% of threatened and endangered species.
Fortunately, proposed state legislation which would ban consumer use of glyphosate was approved by the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture during the 2019-20 session.
We will now pick up where we left off with renewed momentum this session.
Several bills which would have a dramatic impact on the reducing the use of toxic pesticides in Massachusetts are being filed/refiled by our legislative champions in January.
Under new rules, legislators can cosponsor a bill until it is reported on by its first committee (a process which starts in April). Legislators take their cues (in theory*) from their constituents. The more they hear about a specific bill/issue, the more likely they are to add their name in support of legislation.
The more cosponsors a bill has, the greater attention it will receive (again, in theory*) from legislative leaders who decide which bills (among more than 5000 introduced each year) move "to the floor" for a vote.
*We recognize that the chemical corporations and their surrogates have inordinate influence over the legislative and regulatory bodies governing them. This is why we must speak loudly, often and together in order to make it a political liability for decision-makers to do their bidding!
Please use this form to contact your state legislators asking them to cosponsor the below pesticide-related bills before April 1, 2021.
Share with them your personal concerns about pesticides, reiterate how we need legislators to fulfill their duty to protect our Commonwealth, and ask them to cosponsor and support swift passage the the below pesticide-related bills.
You can learn more about the dangers presented to human healthy from glyphosate on the NOFA/Mass website. (Suggested talking points are also provided in this form.)
NOFA/Mass Priority Pesticide-related Bills
- This bill takes all glyphosate-containing herbicides (including Monsanto's Roundup) off hardware store shelves and ends consumer use of this toxic biocide statewide!
Schoolchildren protection - "An Act relative to improving pesticide protections for Massachusetts schoolchildren," by Rep. Carmine Gentile (HD458)
Under this law, only pesticides defined as minimum risk by the EPA or those approved for organic agriculture could be used on the outdoor grounds of schools, child care centers and school-age child care programs. This would eliminate on school grounds the use of many synthetic pesticides that are harmful to children, including glyphosate and 2,4-D.
Glyphosate ban on public land - "An Act relative to the use of glyphosate on public lands," by Sen. Jason Lewis (SD455)
- This bill would end the application of any glyphosate-based herbicide on any public lands owned or maintained by the Commonwealth without a special permit
This bill will help protect Massachusetts residents from harmful pesticide drift from agricultural pesticide use, increasing buffer zones around residences.
- Local Control over Pesticides - "An Act empowering towns and cities to protect residents and the environment from harmful pesticides," by Rep. Dylan Fernandes (HD3682)
- This critical bill would restore the power of municipal governments to restrict the use, application or disposal of pesticides on private land within that town or city. It would enable municipalities to create and enforce local pesticide by-laws that are stricter than the State’s existing laws.
- Ecological Mosquito Control - "An Act Providing for the Public Health by Establishing an Ecologically Based Mosquito Management Program in the Commonwealth," by Senator Adam Hinds and Rep. Tami Gouveia (SD1202/HD2383)
- Replaces the Commonwealth’s outdated and expensive mosquito management system with one that is more effective, affordable, transparent, ecologically responsible, and scientifically based.
All of these bills face serious opposition from the well-heeled chemical industry lobbyists and their surrogates. However, as awareness of the dangers of glyphosate and other toxins grows, we have an increasing number of allies in the state legislature.
Please let your legislators know that you support their bold leadership on pesticides. Encourage them to stand up to the chemical industry lobbyists and take action to protect our communities.
Note: Personal phone calls are worth >100X more than emails. We strongly encourage supporters to call their legislators directly about these bills after sending an email. You can look up their names and phone numbers, here: openstates.org